Edinburgh progresses fleet transition to low-emission vehicles

Edinburgh Council is catching up with its own climate policy. The Scottish capital will spend £55 million replacing over 1,000 vehicles to ensure its fleet complies with the incoming Low Emission Zone.

Image: Volvo Buses

Councillors agreed to the major investment this week and included all sorts of vehicles, following the Finance Committee’s recommendation.

According to the Committee’s Fleet Asset Management plan, 282 council vehicles on the roads do not meet the clean air zone requirements, and Edinburgh Council says it will prioritise their replacement ahead of June 2024.

Over 50 refuse collection trucks, street cleaning vans, sweepers, and two civic cars will be replaced. The Finance Committee also proposed replacing 140 vans and ten minibuses.

The plan also includes exceptions for some heavy good vehicles for which a replacement would not be financially viable. These HGVs will instead have LEZ compliant engines, that is Euro 6.

Overall, the Council counts 1,348 in the fleet (including plant machinery). The Council owns 801 vehicles, leases or hires another 547.

The new vehicles already approved translate to 27% of the Council’s fleet being electrified and two-thirds of the fleet to be replaced. It will also increase the number of cars, vans, and lorries owned by the authority, which the Council expects will, in turn, create new in-house maintenance jobs.

The capital’s LEZ will ban the most polluting vehicles, namely diesel cars registered after September 2015 and petrol vehicles registered after January 2006, from driving into the city centre from June next year.

Scottish public transport operators such as Lothian Buses have also moved towards decarbonisation. The company reportedly ordered 50 electric double-deckers from Volvo Buses in September and expects these ZEBs to arrive over the coming year.

Edinburgh aims to become a net-zero carbon city by 2030. The Council will, therefore, decide on further electrification of the fleet, at the latest in 2028/29.

edinburghlive.co.uk, edinburgh.gov.uk (fleet asset plan)


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